Monday, June 27, 2011

What did Jesus say we should do?

I’ve looked at everything Jesus was reported to have said. Here’s what Jesus says his followers should do, how they should behave.

Summary of main points:
  1. Don’t divorce. Matt 5:32, Matt 19:6, Mark 10:9-12, Luke 16:18
  2. Don’t swear (make oaths). Matt 5:34
  3. Don’t resist evil people, do good to them, give them more than they demand, lend without expecting to be paid back, generally be nice and cooperative to anyone who abuses you. Matt 5:39, Matt 5:44, Matt 5:38-48, Luke 6:27-35
  4. Don’t do good works or pray or fast publicly for show; do these thing secretly. Matt 6:1-7, Matt 6:16-18, Mark 12:38-40
  5. Don’t worry about basic needs for the immediate future, just trust God. Matt 6:25, Matt 6:31-34, Luke 12:22, Luke 12:33
  6. Be wary of covetousness because life isn’t about physical possessions. At least some people should sell everything they own and give the money to the poor. Give up everything you have on this earth and you will be greatly rewarded in heaven. Matt 6:19-21, Matt 19:21, Mark 10:21, Luke 6:24, Luke 12:15, Luke 14:33, Luke 16:9, Luke 18:22, Luke 18:28-29, Luke 19:8-9
  7. Have faith in God. Matt 14:31
  8. Ask God for anything and it will be given to you. Matt 7:7, Matt 17:20, Matt 18:19, Matt 21:21-22, Mark 11:22-24, Luke 11:9-13, John 14:13-14, John 15:7, John 16:23
  9. Don’t judge others, or you’ll be judged. Matt 7:1, Luke 6:37
  10. Be wary of false prophets and teachers - you should judge them by their fruits. Matt 7:15-16
  11. Preach the things that Jesus says and spread his words. Matt 10:27, Mark 16:15
  12. Baptise people. Matt 28:19, Mark 16:16
  13. Don’t fear someone who can kill your body; fear someone who can destroy your soul in hell. Matt 10:28, Luke 12:5
  14. If you do the will of God / follow the sayings of Jesus, you are in Jesus’ family. You’ll know the truth and it will set you free. Loving Jesus means doing what he commands. If you don’t do what Jesus says then you’re like a man with a house on sand, headed for disaster. If you don’t abide in Jesus, you’ll be burned up like a pruned branch - you must keep his commands. If you do abide in Jesus you’ll bear fruit. Matt 7:26-27, Matt 7:19-27, Matt 12:50, Matt 25:45-46, Matt 28:20, Mark 3:35, Luke 6:46, John 8:31, John 8:51, John 14:15, John 14:21, John 14:23-24, John 15:6, John 15:9-10, John 15:14, Luke 11:28
  15. To attain eternal life, keep the commandments (the mosaic law); do these and you will live. If you keep the commandments (the mosaic law) you will be great in heaven, but if you break the commandments you will be least in heaven. Matt 7:24, Matt 13:41-42, Matt 16:27, Matt 19:17, Mark 10:17-19, Luke 10:25-37, Luke 11:42, Luke 18:18-20
  16. Moral purity is less about washing your hands and more about your actions. Matt 15:19-20
  17. Forgive people lots and lots of times. If you don’t forgive them, God won’t forgive you. Matt 6:15, Matt 18:21-22, Mark 11:25-26, Luke 17:3-4
  18. People who can accept sexual abstinence should do so. Matt 19:10-12
  19. Give the worldly authorities their due (eg. taxes) and also give God his due. Matt 22:21, Mark 12:17
  20. Love God. Matt 22:37-38, Mark 12:29-30
  21. Love other people. All people, even your enemies. This is really important. This is what shows you to be a follower of Jesus. Matt 22:39, Mark 12:31, John 13:34-35, John 15:12-13
  22. Do to others what you’d want them to do to you. Matt 7:12
  23. Give to the poor and be charitable. Luke 14:13-14
  24. Do what the Pharisees say, not what they do. Matt 23:2-3
  25. Don’t call anyone teacher or father - God alone holds those positions. Matt 23:8-10
  26. Watch and pray, to avoid temptation. Matt 26:41, Mark 13:37
  27. If you use a sword you’ll die by the sword. Matt 26:52
  28. Anyone who works a miracle in Jesus’ name is on Jesus’ side - if they’re not against him then they’re for him. Mark 9:39-40
  29. Have salt in yourself (make an active impact in the world?). Mark 9:49-50
  30. Have peace with each other. Mark 9:50
  31. To be great in heaven you must be the servant of all. Wash each other’s feet (figuratively). Matt 20:26-27, Mark 9:35, Mark 10:44, Luke 22:26, John 13:14
  32. Be humble and sit in the less important seats at a feast. If you exalt yourself you’ll be humbled, and if you humble yourself you’ll be exalted. Matt 23:11-12, Luke 14:8, Luke 18:14
  33. You must give up everything or you can’t follow Jesus. Matt 16:24-26, Luke 9:23-24
  34. The law doesn’t change, ever. It’s easier for heaven and earth to be destroyed than for even the punctuation to alter. Matt 5:18
  35. Do what you’re commanded to do by God, and don’t ask for a reward, since you are servants and it’s your duty. Luke 17:10
  36. Sin can cause physical diseases, so don’t sin. John 5:14
  37. Anyone who believes in Jesus will do the miracles he did, and greater miracles. Mark 16:17-18, John 14:12
  38. The Holy Spirit will teach you all things and bring to mind everything Jesus said. John 14:26
  39. Jesus chooses his followers, his followers didn’t choose him. Matt 22:14, John 15:16
  40. Jesus’ followers will have difficulty in the world, but should be happy because Jesus has overcome the world. Be happy when you are persecuted and hated because you have a great reward in heaven. John 16:33
  41. Preaching the word is more urgent than planning a funeral or mundane tasks. Matt 8:22, Luke 9:60, Luke 10:41-42
  42. Jesus’ followers are invincible against snakes, scorpions, poisons. Mark 16:18, Luke 10:19
If a preacher were to contradict these, I would be very wary, and ask for careful reasons why they don't seem to be agreeing with Jesus' words.
This is a good way to determine whether any particular Christian sect truly follows Jesus - see how they measure up to his commands.

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